Baseball coach Joe Wharton reaches 500th win

Joe Wharton, Richland College’s baseball coach, has accomplished many things during his T-Ducks tenure.

The Dallas native and 1989 R.L. Turner High School alum has four NJCAA World Series Championship rings, he has helped more than 15 players reach the professional ranks and has coached more than 100 players who moved on to play at the NCAA Division I level.

As of April 20, thanks to a 15-4 victory over Mountain View College, Wharton can now say he has collected 500 victories. In 12-plus seasons, Wharton has a stunning 501-261 record.

“Getting my 500th victory is pretty special because it just confirms that all the hard work I have put in over the last 12 ½ years has paid off,” Wharton said. “I am not into personal awards but in baseball, if you win 500 games then it means you have achieved something special. When you have four national championships in the past eight years and eight World Series appearances it’s pretty neat too.”

Aside from his team’s four national championships, the T-Ducks have advanced to the World Series National Championship four other times, finishing as runner-ups twice. Under Wharton, who has been named NJCAA National Coach of the Year four times, his teams have also qualified for the playoffs every year, including this season.

“It’s my job to recruit and talk players to come to Richland, where we do not offer athletic scholarships. Once they get here, it’s my job to get them prepared on and off the field,” Wharton said. “The players deserve all the credit because they still have to get out on the field and perform and get the job done.  So the players have made me look good and I am happy that our program has helped more than 100 players move on to four-year universities totaling somewhere between $750,000 to $1 million in athletic/academic aid in the past 10 years.”

Prior to Richland College, Wharton played at Baylor University. There, he was selected on the all Southwest Conference First Team and was named team MVP before being selected by the New York Yankees in the 18th round of the 1993 draft.